Friday, March 19, 2010

Crabs, Prawns, Bali Tong and Lala @ Asia Seafood, Imbi Park, Kuala Lumpur

fragrant prawns

Work has been going crazy as usual - so crazy that I must admit I find it almost suffocating and I have to remind myself to breath every day or else I reckon I may just keel over with the stress. Blogging seems to have taken a backburner too, as blog posts seem to only emerge after two days versus a few hours. Enough of the whinging and back to food.

frying prawns takes a lot of heat

I admit I was toying with the idea of not blogging about this place. Usually the general rule seems to be "I don't blog a place if it's not worth it" but till today I am reminded of one blog reader's request, that I blog about the good, the bad (and even the ugly) dining places in town.

cooking the lala

For the longest time ever, I have heard rumblings about this 20-year old stall that sold seafood right smack within a food court at Imbi just behind the Walter Grenier flats. My friend CS who patronised this place told me they sold amazingly good bali tong and she will often buy back the seafood like crabs and etc, to eat at home instead since it was kinda dingy. She did warn me that on occasions the quality of the crabs can be quite "watery", which I felt was their let down.

yummy siong tong lala packed with lots of ginger and chillies

Taking CS' cue, I also packed back my food. Prior to my meal, I was treated to a visual display of what went on in the "kitchen" since it was all open to see being located at a food court. Definitely an eye opener, the owner was busy at his 5 and more cast iron woks boiling up sauces, cooking the seafood simultaneously. There's a lot of fire action going around and when he saw me snapping away, he even stoked the fire higher for me. Even tourists who walk by can't help but be fascinated with the whole cooking process.

crabby endings

Not being a fan of balitong, I opted for the normal clams cooked in a soupy broth aka siong tong lala. Eaten piping hot the clams were gorgeous with a stock infused with a whole lot of ginger and chopped chili padi or bird's eye chillies. Definitely good to warm up the tummy since the stock starts to burn a little from the ginger and chillies.

kam heong crab

Another favourite were the prawns, dry fried with chopped garlic and chillies. Cooked briefly in high heat, the whole dish is very aromatic and finger licking good. Tasted even good the next day when I had leftovers for dinner.

steamed crabs

The letdown were the crabs - while they came super fresh I'm still not sure if they were picked at the wrong time of the month (I understand from the Crab Queen Precious Pea, there are certain times in the month where the crab meat can be watery). Steamed crabs weren't so tasty as the meat just didn't make the mark. This even ruined their kam heong style crabs also. I won't rule out their crab potential as obviously they're famous for the crustaceans hence I reckon it definitely needs a second visit to test out the theory. To be safe, stick to the lala and bali tong dishes that were very popular. The cooking styles for the dishes are also quite limited - steamed, chili and kam heong for the crabs and similar styles for the other seafood. More pictures can be found at the Flickr set (including those funny expressions from the chef when he is cooking).

Asia Seafood
Stall No. 48
Imbi Park
Jalan Walter Grenier
Kuala Lumpur

Tel:012-629 9568

(Pork free. Stall is opposite Restaurant Then Siong and at the food court area right behind Overseas Restaurant and between Jalan Walter Grenier's flats.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Precious Pea said...

Luckily I had crabs yesterday, otherwise I will be jumping up and down now. LOL! Hey, looking forward to our crabbing session this weekend!

CUMI & CIKI said...

well, when the blogpost does eventually emerge, it's worth the wait;)

UnkaLeong said...

Somebody call 911, the chef's setting the prawns on fire! Hahaha...Work gets to most of us ;) But I agree with Ciki, your posts are worth waiting for :P

Tummythoz said...

That stall is definitely the odd one out at that foodcourt since noticed other stalls are manned by Malays.

Life for Beginners said...

Oh that pikcher of that poor lil crabby fella before he gets thrown into the fire... Ah well. If one must end one's life, must go out tastin' fine... ;)

thule a.k.a leo said...

I think that I know where this place is... will give it a try if I happen to be there one day! for the moment, I rarely go downtown.. prefer to stay in PJ :P

eiling lim said...

It's good that you blog the good and bad. That's the purpose of a blog - personal & honest opinions.

Christy said...

A seafood post, and seems like this place serves pretty good seafood (or was it your photography skills?) despite the dingy atmosphere you described in your post =)

Sin Tai Lim said...

Thanks for the intro of this place, I can smell the lovely prawns while looking at your photos.

Chaokar said...

oh love that fiery work !
yummeh !

qwazymonkey said...

Lovely pictures as usual.

I remember coming here once after my warehouse sale with my colleagues. The lala soup was good to calm our aching muscles and tummy. But the crabs like you said were a let down, especially after we were presented with the hefty bill. Other places may not do Kam Heong like them or have enough wok hei like theirs, but it was daylight (or should I say moonlight) robbery.

Suffice to say, we weren't gonna be back for a while. But gotta thank the boss for footing the bill. LOL

KY said...

but where's the balitongggg, it's awesome why aren't you a fan!

J2Kfm said...

Siong Tong Lala is up my alley, though I can't say the same about Bali tong. Not a fan of all those sucking and drilling to get such a tiny piece of morsel. :)

engrape finance said...

Bali is the best place to have your vacation and bonding with your friends and relatives especially if you visit the place and feel the bali accommodation there.

shar said...

The best ever seafood I ever had..
start knowing this place since been more than 16 years...
No pork is what make me enjoyed more. .
few times I went there @ 6.30 the uncle not yet got to wait for 30 minit...I won't let my stomach empty...can also try yong chow fried rice from next stall uncle...together with sotong kangkung..
Yummy....gonna eat again tomorrow for my birthday

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